The state of the state depends on which official is speaking

Seven of speakers were Republicans, but even within the same party, opinions varied widely, ranging from optimistic views about the state of agriculture to an acknowledgment that Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in the country.

When it came his time to speak, Bryant touted the state’s recent corporate hauls, including Continental Tire plant in Hinds County, ABB in Senatobia and Raytheon, which will build fighter jet training systems in Meridian, as announced this week….

…Speaker of the House Philip Gunn harshly criticized the state’s public education system.

“Antiquated. Confusing. Inefficient. Unreliable. Unpredictable. What do these words describe? They describe the Mississippi Adequate Education Program,” Gunn said taking the stage. “This program has failed because it allows spending on education to be abused.”…

…Attorney General Jim Hood, the lone Democrat statewide elected official, came to the podium swinging, criticizing state leadership for not getting the MEC’s push for greater highway funding passed. Hood connected this to the Legislature’s push for “social issues” like HB 1523, the religious freedom bill that came to the Legislature during the session.